9 Things I Hate About You: What Your Co-Workers Hate to Hear You Say


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Whether you like them or not, you are stuck with your coworkers for multiple hours everyday. Someone’s laugh probably drives you crazy or mannerisms bug the heck out of you. Caught up in your own displeasure you probably didn’t realize you could be equally annoying to someone else. It’s true – if you’re not careful, you could be the one making everyone feel awkward. Here are nine things no one at the office wants to hear you say:

That’s Not My Job

Telling someone that something isn’t your job is just like saying you aren’t willing to help unless you absolutely have to. If someone assumes something is your responsibility and it isn’t, politely guide them to the person responsible. Don’t be a jerk. If someone asks you for help, of course the project he or she mentioned isn’t your job – that’s why they asked for your help.

How Did They Get Promoted?

Umm, rude. Even if it’s truly unbelievable that the Michael Scott of the office got promoted, don’t go spreading your opinion around. It makes you seem unprofessional, judgmental and especially bitter. Instead, bring up concerns (backed by specific examples) when specifically asked by senior management during a performance review.

Don’t Tell Anyone, But…

Steer clear of being an office gossip – the attention and association isn’t genuine. Avoid sharing negative opinions about another employee, specific company information only you are privy to or even that fact that you are considering applying for jobs elsewhere. Over sharing can bite you in the butt sooner than later.

Last Night Was Soooo Crazy

No one wants to hear about your crazy drinking or sex escapades. It’s unprofessional and office gossip spreads quickly. Even if you are telling people who do seem to care, others who don’t can still hear you. Rule of thumb: keep it to yourself, and that includes in the break room.

You Owe $10 for This Gift for So-and-So

Don’t guilt anyone into paying for a baby shower gift or holiday present they aren’t interested in participating in. That’s fine and dandy if you want to spearhead a go-all-in gift, but if a co-worker doesn’t seem interested (aka doesn’t respond to any of the mass emails) just leave him or her alone.

I Don’t Have Time for This

Nothing says “I think I’m all that” than someone who stomps around declaring they don’t have time for this or that. In fact, that statement is generally perceived as “I don’t want to do this.” If you are really overloaded or need help prioritizing your projects, talk to your manager – don’t whine.

Blah, Blah, Blah

Don’t ask stupid questions that draw out meetings. If the meeting is wrapping up, now isn’t the time to pop the philosophical question of the day. It’s OK to ask questions and seek clarification on important matters that apply to you, but if you don’t understand a process that you aren’t even involved with, save it.

It’s Not My Fault

Even if you aren’t completely to blame, accept that you could’ve played a part in something that went wrong. No one is looking to assign a scapegoat. Be ready and willing to receive criticism and bite your tongue if you get the urge to point fingers and name names.

You’re How Old?

Whether surprisingly young or surprisingly old, keep your amazement to yourself. Implying that someone’s age (or background, political preference, religion etc) is unexpected or weird can be offensive. Show respect for your colleagues – even the ones who over share.

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